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SFTP without the Servers: Couchdrop's cloud SFTP & FTP solution

Posted by Dallen Clark on Jan 10, 2023 1:45:00 PM

Nobody likes having to take care of servers, but it seems like an essential component of using FTP and SFTP. Couchdrop has transformed this way of thinking with its revolutionary serverless SFTP and FTP platform.

Serverless SFTP and FTP

So what does serverless SFTP & FTP mean for you? The main benefit is that you no longer no need to manage, maintain, or upgrade your servers because everything is done for you through Couchdrop’s unique serverless architecture. We’ve developed an FTP and SFTP as a service approach that allows you to fully move your systems to the cloud.

SFTP & FTP in the cloud

SFTP and FTP weren’t designed for the cloud. Couchdrop was designed to fix this. Normally, you would need to create a comprehensive config file and set up an SFTP server on native hardware, a virtual machine, or a compute instance in a cloud. In a lot of cases, this meant having an on-premise server to manage, maintain, and work on.

Instead, you can bring your own storage to Couchdrop, and set up an SFTP server in 5 minutes with a few clicks. From there, it’s all managed through our modern, easy-to-use web interface. No need to wrangle complicated config files or manage your own server. No need to install anything on your devices. Couchdrop is entirely in the cloud.

How is Couchdrop serverless?

The term “serverless” has adopted a few different meanings over the years. No matter the definition, it refers in some way to work done in the cloud; whatever you’re working on isn’t confined to the machine right in front of you, so you can access the software from anywhere.

While working in the cloud and serverless are synonymous in some circles–with a push for equivalency by companies who are unable to go truly serverless–they refer to two different architectures.

Working in the cloud

The traditional way of working on the cloud is having the software run on a dedicated machine. This machine will spin up and run the application, and you log in and essentially run and configure the software through that machine. The trick (and main advantage) is that it’s not your hardware and is sitting somewhere “in the cloud”. You can access the software from anywhere and you don’t have to spend a dime upfront on expensive hardware, which is why cloud computing is steadily rising in popularity.

However, it’s more similar to an on-prem server than not. It’s true that you don’t have to keep a server or group of servers on-location and physically maintain them yourself. But you’re still on dedicated machines running the services that you need, meaning you’re limited to the capabilities of those few devices.

And that makes it much more difficult to scale, or completely impossible in some cases, because you’re still relying on specific servers–only they aren’t physically onsite.

We imagined something bigger for Couchdrop by going truly serverless.

True serverless

The biggest hang-up of simply working in the cloud compared to serverless is when speed is essential or you have an influx of tasks and need more compute power. Typically, scaling is done by increasing the available CPU and memory on a virtual machine. Because you can do this in the cloud, scaling seems easy–but it’s an illusion that breaks apart as soon as you reach the limits of the cloud provider’s instance. But what if there were no limits?

This is where truly serverless cloud computing comes into play. Instead of having the software isolated to a single machine, a serverless architecture with horizontal scaling has multiple machines each running an instance of the software and sharing the load behind queuing systems or load balancers. They do this by having each device do a portion of the task and the machines work together to finish the job quickly.

For this method to work, the software must be designed with this architecture in mind. Instead of devices each running the entire program, the software is broken down into smaller microservices that each focus on a specific task. Those microservices can be spread out among a bunch of different machines that work together.

The key difference is that the machines aren’t dedicated to only running a specific function for your SFTP service: one machine might run PGP Encryption for your automation on Monday, and then on Tuesday do the PGP Decryption portion instead.

The true power of going serverless in the cloud is that it offers practically unlimited scalability and resources. Couchrop accomplishes this through multiple machines doing a little bit each and working together to win.

Serverless scalability

Having multiple machines work together helps the work go faster, even if they aren’t as powerful as the single server you might have onsite. If you have a single machine, you can upgrade it and make it extremely powerful using the latest advancements. You can continue to upgrade it indefinitely so it always has the best technology available.

However, it’s still only a single machine. Vertical scaling like this works in some scenarios because the amount of required compute power will never exceed what that single powerful machine can handle. Where this becomes problematic is when you do need more resources than the machine can provide, such as moving hundreds of large files through SFTP at once.

And what if the server goes down? This is another major concern when only having a single machine to rely on. If it goes down, the services that require it go down as well. On the other hand, if one of a group goes down, others can pick up the slack. And when scalability is considered such as with Couchdrop, there will always be more devices available to help as needed.

If you have a single server and it goes down, you’re out of luck until it’s back online. With the major players who provide services for servers, this often won’t take long to resolve, but it’s still an inconvenience–and of course will happen at the worst possible time. And that’s not to mention all of the maintenance you have to do to keep it going strong.

No worrying about keeping the server up to date

Managing an on-premise server can be a challenge. When it works fine, it’s great, but what about when you have to make an update? You can’t ignore updates because they might contain fixes for security vulnerabilities. Sometimes this can involve shutting down your entire server while it updates to the latest security patch. This can suspend all services that rely on the server until the update is complete.

Since Couchdrop runs off multiple machines at once, if one needs an update we’ll simply switch to another one so you (or your clients) don’t have to wait through scheduled maintenance. This can save you from needing to warn people days in advance about planned server updates when they’ll have no access.

Couchdrop handles all the security and updates so you don’t have to.

Try Couchdrop’s modern serverless SFTP & FTP

Couchdrop has scalable serverless SFTP & FTP available for any size organization. If your SFTP solution is slow, complicated, or hard to use, give us a try. Quick and easy registration allows you to have a fully-functional SFTP server set up in minutes.

Our cloud-based serverless SFTP lets you transfer files between over 30 cloud storage providers as well as on-premise servers. It’s simple, straightforward, and just works. See for yourself how our cloud SFTP can work for you and start a free trial today, with no credit card required.

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